July 1, 2012

Cover Story

People’s Choice

Social media has revolutionized the way companies communicate and interact...Read More

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Article

People’s Choice

Celebrating Utah’s Most Admired Companies

Utah Business Editors

July 1, 2012


Social media has revolutionized the way companies communicate and interact with their customers. It gives businesses a unique opportunity to have an ongoing dialogue with their current and future clientele. Companies can now participate in real-time discussions as well as build long-term loyalty through effective interaction and engagement.

To celebrate the state’s most social media-savvy companies, we launched the
People’s Choice: Utah’s Most Admired Companies awards program. This program aims to honor businesses that have successfully built and sustained relationships by innovatively using this game-changing platform and creating real fans out of their customers.
These companies have been social media pioneers, experimenting with different techniques to develop campaigns that work.

Beyond honoring businesses already successful in social media, this program also sought to help Utah companies that needed a little social media boost. By participating in the program, companies with little or no social media involvement got a jumpstart to building their social media presence.

While the program aims the spotlight on socially savvy companies, the program’s ultimate goal was to hear directly from the people of Utah to determine which companies are, in fact, the best at communicating and building relationships through social media’s most popular platform—Facebook.

The companies garnering the most votes from their ardent fans were deemed Utah’s Most Admired. In the following pages, you’ll learn how these companies were able to effectively engage and build relationships with people from around the state. After reading their stories, we hope that you’ll put the lessons they’ve learned to use and build a social media strategy that works for your company.

Category 1
50,000+ fans

First Place
Mountain America Credit Union

In just two short years, Mountain America Credit Union has grown its Facebook fan base to more than 66,000 fans—and counting. The secret to the credit union’s social media success is simple: it strives to provide useful, educational content to its members, with a little dash of fun thrown in the mix.

“We provide relevant financial tips and build overall financial literacy as well as sharing information about community and company events. We also offer various contests and promotions, which allow us to engage in some fun ways and showcase our brand within the online community while at the same time enhancing and complementing the branch experience,” says Sharon Cook, SVP of marketing, public relations and online.        

And social media has proved an invaluable customer service tool as well. Instead of calling a branch, members often turn to Facebook or Twitter to ask questions, offer suggestions and—sometimes—provide critical feedback. This immediate feedback offers real-time insight into customers’ thoughts and attitudes, says Cook.

For companies looking to jump into the world of social media, Cook suggests first developing an overall strategy. “Identify your strategy, objectives, goals and tactics just like you would for any another other significant business initiative. Then staff it appropriately—make sure whomever you chose to handle social media understands your brand, your culture, and your products and services. Don’t just hire an intern to make a few posts—engage your best and brightest communication and marketing minds in the process.”

Second Place
Freebies2Deals

“The Freebies2Deals Facebook page was started five months after the website launched. I wish I would have done it sooner. But I didn’t realize the type of impact it would have,” says CEO Melea Johnson. “Social media has played a huge part in helping Freebies2Deals become successful. You are able to build a bond with fans, get them information immediately through apps that social media sites have, plus it’s an easy way to have fans spread the word about your company.” 

Category 2
49,999 to 25,000 fans

First Place
NordicTrack

For fitness company NordicTrack, social media presents an opportunity to go beyond building a brand to actually create a voice and a personality for the company. This voice enables NordicTrack to engage more deeply with consumers and provide better customer service.

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